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There is an old saying that if you have it, a truck brought it.

If you have ever been to the base of the Grape Vine on Interstate 5 into Los Angeles there is a weigh station with a line of trucks waiting to go over the hill into L.A. Guess what they have in common: diesel fuel. If it wasn't for these trucks L.A. would starve. As would New York, Chicago and Portland. So-called fossil fuels, diesel in particular, make the world run. And there is no alternative. If you like to eat, drive, fly, wear clothes, put new tires on your car, and live the good life you need to change your view on oil. How about alternative fuels, like electric, natural gas, hydrogen? That would mean retrofitting all these diesel rigs, even if it could be done, and providing retrofitted truck stops, which would cost more than I'm sure you are willing to pay for since we pay for all the new changes at the pump.

Speaking of costs, do you know how much a new truck costs?

Some as much as $100,000. And there are owner-operators who own their rigs who could not possibly retrofit their trucks. I can give you chapter and verse on that because I was an owner-operator for years and there is no way possible to change engines and fuel tanks. This is a reality check for this backward state that had the opportunity to have a big oil platform at the coast but wanted to keep Oregon pristine and let the other states rot.

And that is only trucks! You have seen the plowed fields and huge reapers in the Midwest, and Texas and California. They don't do all that with horses. Diesel. The entire infrastructure of farming depends on diesel and other so-called fossil fuels.

If you like to eat, please give the big rigs a little room and forgiveness. They have a difficult job.

Some day things will be different, but not in your lifetime.

John Penrod

Lebanon (June 27)

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